Prostitution has been the world oldest profession for time been; it ranges from those who do it for the pleasure of it to those who do it for the cash and also those who are forced do it in the sense of exploitation. During my stay in Dubai, i had come across fellow African girls who have been forced to prostitute by fellow country women. I was surprised to know majority of such girls were Nigerians. Growing up in Ghana I had watched Nigerian movies where there were forced prostitution as the main focus of the movie and never in my wildest imagination did I think it was really a thing which is actually happening everyday in parts of the world and not just based on fiction. There are many cases where girls are forced into prostitution far away from home starting from the Malaysian story, Italian story and the Dubai story of the little I know of exploitation in forced prostitution. Forced prostitution also known as involuntary prostitution is a sexual slavery which takes place as a result of coercion by a third party. It is also referred to a condition of control over a person who is coerced by another to engage in sexual activity which is illegal. Forced prostitution is a crime against the person as is a violation of human rights of movement through coercion and its commercial exploitation. Yet young girls are being exploited each day as young as age 15 to 18 with promises of better jobs, good working conditions far away from home only for them to find out later in a foreign land it was but a lie and that they were being exploited which was the case of Adana a 19 year old Nigerian in Dubai.
I met Adana a Nigerian young lady at a kfc outlet in a suburb of Dubai I had gone to had dinner. She stopped me at the entrance basically because I was African and maybe as a sister she could talk to. She asked me for a twenty aed note to use as transport fare back home as she wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t work that night. I was surprised at how bluntly she could ask me for money when she barely knew me. I cast looks at the face with heavy makeup, how scantily she was dressed with cheap clothes and a weave on I figured was too heavy for the hot weather. I didn’t want to give her as I feared she must be telling lies and just wanted to scam me even for a small amount but the pair of eyes staring back at me was so innocent with sadness laced in it .I asked where her home was as I offered to share my ride with her and wasn’t prepared to give out money to a prostitute and maybe know the reason why she chose prostitution as her profession her Dubai. She was hesitant casting looks around undecided about joining me, before jumping in the cab I had flagged down. Deira please she said to the cab driver who turned to look at us obviously wondering what I was doing with her or wondering why I was fully dressed as a prostitute as deira was mostly the location of cheap African brothels if the stereotypes I heard were true. But there and then I wanted to find out about Adana.
I started a conversation hoping to hear the cause of her choice of profession and Adana was one hell of an open book who wanted someone to share her problems with. That ride with Adana that Friday night brought me into realization of what was going on beneath prostitution. She lived with her family in edo where one aunty who occasionally takes young girls to Dubai approached her parents offering to send Adana there to work in a restaurant, and earn a lot of money which could take care of her ailing mother. They obliged and before they left the edo state, the woman had taken them to one native doctor to take an oath not to disobey their madam when they get to Dubai and do as they are instructed or will go mad. She said they were about five girls and that her madam had covered her travelling expenses. On getting to Dubai, she took them to a two bedroom apartment where there were already other girls. There were bunk beds in one room and their madam was in another. Their madam told them each bed cost a 1500 aed with feeding costing 500 and on top they owed her an amount of 1500 dollars as cost of travelling expenses to their surprise and until they pay her back they had to prostitute and if they try to run away she will contact the native doctor to make the person go mad which instilled fear in them so she started, she has been earning as low as fifty aed per man and they sent the men to the brothels with or without protection with all earnings been taken by her madam. She explained you dared not go home empty handed as you will be beaten up by your madam and starved to bed. I was pretty much horrified at the reality I heard and voiced it out. I asked how much was left of the debt and she said it kept going up as her madam kept adding interest the longer it took and running away isn’t solution.
We had then gotten to Deira and as I cast looks around the area; there were girls like Adana, I was heartbroken. Following my gaze she explained, you see madam most of this girl have a debt to pay and could work for a period of five years but still owe this madams. After all those years you feel your life is wasted and continue prostituting so that’s it. I asked what she wanted the 20aed for which she said was for food before she got home as she couldn’t work and which meant beatings she could endure but not the starving, I was sad to hear that and ended up giving her a 100aed as it was all I had on me .a smile spread across her face as she tucked it into her pant and went off. The ride to my house was slow which got me thinking about how these young girls life are ruined and how they had no future and all they know now is prostitution. I probed further to know more about this exploitation in forced prostitution only for me to find out many young girls are lured from Nigerian each day to various countries and the major country where such exploitation is massive now is the Italy which brings me to the Italian story…………..to be continued.